Margate officials to talk dunes, beach replenishment - Atlantic County News

Margate officials to talk dunes, beach replenishment - Atlantic County News

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Margate officials to talk dunes, beach replenishment

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 11:00 pm

State and federal officials will meet privately with Margate commissioners next week to talk about potential dune and beach-replenishment projects.

Commissioner Brenda Taube is also calling for a public meeting on that issue as soon as possible - since voters are the ones who will decide if any plans go forward.

"It's not up to us, anyway," Taube said. "The only thing we can do is lead them to the information so they can make a decision."

Margate adopted an ordinance in 2001 that requires a citywide referendum before approving a dune project or appropriating funds.

A city's share of any dune project is about 9 percent of the total cost, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers paying for 65 percent and the state Department of Environmental Protection about 26 percent.

Taube said that the referendum is currently planned for the November general election, but she wanted to see if it could be held earlier during one of the special senatorial votes being held in August and October.

"We want to be ready for replenishment if we do get it," she said, "so it could be done as soon as possible."

Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia-area spokesman Steve Rochette said that the corps is updating environmental data and other information as required by the Sandy relief bill.

There is no current timeline for beach and dune work in Margate and Longport, Rochette said, but it may be possible that could be completed by next summer.

That work would be separate from the ongoing $23.1 million beach and dune replenishment work being done in Atlantic City and Ventnor. There is no estimate for how much the project in Margate and Longport would cost.

Margate Mayor Mike Becker said that commissioners had preferred a public meeting with the DEP and the Army Corps, but the closed executive session meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday "was their choice."

"After that, hopefully we can get them to come back here," Becker said of a potential public meeting. "We made a promise to the people."

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